Penny Stewart has volunteered - and grown her love for history and art - with the WEA for the last 25 years. As a driving force in the Petts Wood and Orpington branch in Bromley, she has helped swell the number of courses for younger students. But after a chance conversation with her tutor, things really started to get serious…
What do I enjoy most about the WEA? It’s got to be the intellectual stimulus, lively discussions and the teamwork. You’re part of something bigger.
I’m always involved in one class or other, and in early 2006 it was about the history of India. When my tutor learned of my own connections to India, she asked me to do a short presentation. I fell into her trap! Now, nearly 12 years later, my research has taken me back in time. I have traced the stories covering the whole of the 19th century until India and Burma achieved independence - and I came with my family to England.
The 25 chapters will be printed in four parts, to share privately with my family and friends. I’m the biggest supporter of the WEA, but I tell people: beware! You never know what joining a WEA class will lead to.
Penny was the winner of the 2017 WEA Volunteer Award.